Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage

By Elizabeth Story Donno | Go to book overview

the classical model since in some sort they puncture and break out of the wrappings of Horace.

The poet compares Cromwell still modest, according to him, glorying only in obeying the Republic and the Commons, to the noble bird of prey who, docile with the falconer, has only bloodied the atmosphere for him. ‘Thus when the falcon has descended heavily from the loftiness of the sky, once the prey has been put to death, it thinks only of perching on a nearby green branch where at the first call, the falconer is sure to find him’ [ll. 91-6]. Thus the Republic is sure of its Cromwell.


70.

Archbishop Trench’s comments on ‘Eyes and Tears, ’ ‘Horatian Ode, ’ and ‘On a Drop of Dew’

1868, 1870

R. C. Trench (1807-86), who became Archbishop of Dublin, conceived of his anthology as supplementary to that of Palgrave. Although he included only three of Marvell’s lyrics, they were indeed to become ‘household’ examples. The first edition omits any comment on ‘On a Drop of Dew. ’

(a) Extract from A Household Book of English Poetry (1868), pp. 394, 398-9.

I have obtained room for these lines [‘Eyes and Tears’] by excluding another very beautiful poem by the same author, his ‘Song of the Emigrants in Bermuda. ’ To this I was moved in part by the fact that the ‘Song’ has found its way into many modern collections; these lines, so far as I know, into none; in part by my conviction that we have here a poem which, though less popular than the Song, ’ is of a still higher mood. If after this praise, these lines

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